Foreign moves at LAT

Sebastian Rotella yields the Paris bureau to become a roving international investigative reporter, plus a new correspondent in Baghdad. Memo after the jump:

To: The Staff
From: Marjorie Miller, Foreign Editor; David Lauter, Deputy Foreign Editor

We're happy to announce three moves on the Foreign staff that will enhance our coverage of some of our most challenging stories.

SEBASTIAN ROTELLA, who has been Paris bureau chief, will start a new assignment as an international investigative reporter. Sebastian arrived in Paris shortly before the Sept. 11 attacks and has spent much of his tour covering international terrorism. He will remain in Paris to take advantage of his European law-enforcement sources. In addition to covering terror, Sebastian has written about some of France's other preoccupations -- soccer and jazz, among them. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize last year for stories on France's Muslim immigrant population.

ALISSA RUBIN will be our new Paris bureau chief, another move in a foreign career that has been marked by memorable reporting from Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans, as well as on Iran's nuclear program. Alissa has been our Vienna bureau chief since 2001 and was also co-bureau chief in Baghdad in 2003 and 2004. Before joining the foreign staff, she worked in the Washington bureau where she covered a wide range of national issues including abortion, health care and efforts to regulate the tobacco industry.

ALEX ZAVIS will join the Baghdad bureau beginning in late October. Alex comes to us from the Associated Press, where she was news editor in the Johannesburg bureau. Since joining the AP in South Africa in 1995, Alex has covered coups, wars and peace-making in some of the world's most dangerous places -- Angola, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan. She has also done several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, including two months embedded with a Marine unit during the first months of the Iraq war. She grew up overseas and is a graduate of Oxford University.

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